The leachability of a radioactive waste glass formulated to Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory specification 80-270 has been studied using eight actual groundwaters with a range of chemical compositions as leachants. Waters collected from the Grande Ronde Basalt (Washington State) and from alluvial deposits in the Hualapai Valley (Arizona) were the most effective at removing plutonium from this glass. Leaching was shown to be incongruent; plutonium was removed from the glass more slowly than the overall glass matrix. The results of these experiments indicate the need to study the leachability of actual waste forms using the actual projected groundwaters that are most likely to come into contact with the waste should a radioactive waste repository be breached.
Additional publication details
Leaching of plutonium from a radioactive waste glass by eight groundwaters from the western United States